Technology

India unblocks The Pirate Bay and other sharing sites

Members of a hacking group, Anonymous India, wear Guy Fawkes masks as they protest against Indian government enacted laws that gives it power to censor different aspects of Internet usage, in Mumbai
Image caption Activists argued that the original internet legislation amounted to censorship

Web users in India are once again able to access video and file-sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay.

The country's Madras High Court has changed its earlier censorship order which centred on the issue of internet copyright.

The original ruling made Indian internet service providers (ISPs) block access to entire sites to prevent a single film from being shared online.

The new order was issued following an appeal filed by a consortium of ISPs.

It states that only specific web addresses - URLs - carrying the pirated content should be blocked, but not the entire website.

"The order of interim injunction dated 25/04/2012 is hereby clarified that the interim injunction is granted only in respect of a particular URL where the infringing movie is kept and not in respect of the entire website," reads the updated decision.

"Further, the applicant is directed to inform about the particulars of URL where the interim movie is kept within 48 hours."

Hacking attacks

In late March, Chennai-based Copyrightlabs, an Indian anti-piracy firm, won a court order that made Indian ISPs and phone firms stop their customers reaching websites that were illegally sharing copies of certain Bollywood films.

The Ashok Kumar order - similar to a "John Doe" order in the United States and designed to protect the copyright of music, films and other content - allowed copyright holders to request a website be taken down to prevent users from downloading content illegally.

The ruling led to a series of cyber-attacks by the hacker group Anonymous, which targeted a number of Indian websites, including those for government departments and India's Supreme Court.

Anonymous said the attacks were carried out in retaliation against blocks imposed on video and file-sharing sites.

The internet hacking group then staged numerous protests against "internet censorship" in India.

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